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Choosing a Garage Door Opener

Garage Openers

To choose the right garage door opener for your home, consider several factors, including power, quiet operation, safety and security.


Your garage door opener must be able to handle the height and weight of your new garage door. Most garage door openers offered by The Home Depot have 1/2-HP (horsepower) motors capable of handling most residential garage doors.

For information about specific garage door openers we recommend for use with your new Clopay garage door, see Premium Series Garage Door Openers.

Quiet Operation

For garages adjacent to bedrooms or living areas, a quiet garage door opener may be important. All garage door openers offered at The Home Depot are constructed with dependable, quiet operation in mind.

Types of Drives

Quiet operation depends mostly on the type of operating mechanism or drive that's used to open the garage door. Three types of drives are common: belt drives, screw drives and chain drives.

Genie Screw Drive Model


  • Use a sturdy rubber-like belt (similar to a car's fan belt) to open and close garage doors
  • Are generally the quietest type of drive
  • Offer years of service - belts used in the Premium Series Garage Door Opener offered by The Home Depot are constructed like the best-quality steel-belted tires and have a lifetime belt warranty. (Some belts can wear out, though, and need replacement.)

Genie Chain Drive Model


  • Use a long, sturdy metal rod threaded like a screw to lift and close garage doors
  • Have few moving parts that need maintenance or repair
  • Are typically noisier than belt drives but quieter than chain drives


  • Use a metal chain (similar to a bicycle chain) to open and close garage doors
  • Are often less expensive than belt or screw drive openers
  • Are the most frequently purchased type of garage door opener
  • Are louder than belt drives or screw drives
  • Can require maintenance or replacement, as chains can grow loose over time


Garage Door Opener Safety & Security

Garage doors often serve as one of the main entries or exits in homes today. That means you need a garage door opener that's safe and provides security for your home.


To prevent accidental injury and damage to property, garage door openers manufactured or installed after 1993 must by law have a reversing mechanism that's activated when a beam of infrared light is interrupted. To work properly, the reversing mechanism and infrared light sensor must be properly installed and adjusted.

The safety of your garage door and opener also depends on proper maintenance:

  • Review the care and maintenance information provided with your new garage door and opener.
  • Perform a safety reverse test each month by deliberately interrupting the beam of infrared light while closing the door. The door should stop and reverse its motion.

For more information on garage door safety, see:

-Garage Door Safety Checklist from Clopay
-Garage Door Safety from Martin Doors


All garage door openers offered at The Home Depot incorporate rolling code technology, which selects a new security code (from several billion possible new codes) each time you activate your garage door opener. Selecting a random new code with each use eliminates code duplication and prevents unwanted garage entry.

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